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The number of new construction projects on Grand Island held steady between 1999 and 2000, but their value fell by $10.3 million.

The town issued 397 building permits for $21.9 million worth of construction in 1999 and 388 permits for $11.6 million last year, town building records show.

Two commercial projects worth a total of $9 million skewed the 1999 figures, building inspector Douglas M. Learman said, and the total for 2000 was closer to the norm.

"A single large project like that will throw (the total) out of whack when you compare it from one year to the next," Learman said.

Fujisawa Health Care received a building permit in October 1999 for a new warehouse and office space, costing $5 million, at its campus at 3125 Staley Road, he said.

That same month, Tops Markets was granted a permit for a $4 million, 70,000-square-foot store at 2140 Grand Island Blvd., next to the old Tops, Learman said.

The rate of new building on the island tends to follow the strength of the economy and slows when the economy slows, he said.

"The economy goes through cycles. I don't think there's any rhyme or reason," Learman said.

Grand Island still has not recovered from the effects of the Senecas' land-claim lawsuit, filed in 1992, which has chilled new construction.

The town issued 108 permits for new homes in 1993, a number that fell to 62 permits in 1997 and has slipped further the last two years, records show.

Town residents received permission to build 34 new homes in 2000, worth a total of $5.2 million, and received 81 permits for $1.4 million in additions, records show.

The town also approved eight new townhouses last year, at a value of $720,000.

In 1999, residents received permits to build 44 homes, worth $6.2 million, and 66 permits for $1.2 million in additions.

The town in 2000 approved two new commercial projects, worth a total of $200,000, and 15 commercial additions worth $2.7 million, records show.

In 1999, the town granted permission for 15 new commercial buildings worth $7.5 million and 11 additions worth $5.5 million.

There are several new construction projects on tap on Grand Island this year.

A day care center is set to be built on Ransom Road, next door to the site of a proposed Wilson Farms convenience center and gas station that is stalled in the approval process.

Fuccillo Chevrolet recently won the Town Board's approval to build a $2.5 million dealership on Alvin Road.

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